by Robin Jeffrey
I worry, at times, that Rapunzel exchanged one ivory tower for another; a tower with bigger windows and more staircases, but a tower nonetheless. I wonder, sometimes, how unhappy she really was, cast out into the wild, sheared and alone for the first time in her life. The blinded prince who left her with child follows the sound of her singing, discovering her hideaway, and I have to ask myself: how happy was she to see him?
She probably loved him, I tell myself; raising twins on one’s own is anything but easy. But I doubt very much if the Rapunzel he saw when her tears restored his sight was the same Rapunzel the prince had charmed in the tower.
Perhaps she liked being a wild thing. Perhaps the sound of the wolf at her door in the dead of night made her heart race with fear and something else besides. Perhaps bearing life out there in the woods made her realize her own power. Perhaps her hair grew back and she cut it again, with a flint she’d sharpened herself, slicing her dirty, pale hands under the shady trees. After all, she was named after a plant, a growing thing, and plants grow best where their roots can dig deep, away from others who would steal their sunlight.
Perhaps Rapunzel didn’t need any more rescuing. Perhaps the wild was all the refuge she ever needed
Robin Jeffrey was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to a psychologist and a librarian, giving her a love of literature and a consuming interest in the inner workings of people’s minds, which have served her well as she pursues a career in writing. Several of her pieces have been featured in various college publications at the University of Washington and she won second place in The Molotov Cocktail’s Flash Phenom Contest for her flash fiction piece “Season of the Dead”. Her flash fiction piece “Bittersweet” was published in Issue #5 (Summer 2018) of Sky Island Journal and her flash fiction piece “Impact” was published in Issue #4 of Cagibi. Her creative non-fiction piece “Band of Red” won the Silver Needle Press's Nonfiction Contest and her other non-fiction work has been published on The Mary Sue. She currently resides in Bremerton, Washington.